Hypogonadism, aka testosterone deficiency or low-T, is primarily diagnosed by low total testosterone levels. However, more and more research is showing that free testosterone, which is the active fraction of total circulating testosterone, is independently associated with important health outcomes.
Levels of free testosterone decline more steeply than total testosterone as menage.[1-7 In many cases, total testosterone levels can be relatively high, but free testosterone low. Therefore it is important to assess both total and free testosterone levels in order to get a clear picture of the androgen status.
A recent study specifically assessed if baseline testosterone (total and free) levels predict muscle loss in middle-aged and elderly Japanese men over a 10 year period.
Low levels of testosterone in men may contribute the development of insulin resistance and diabetes.[1-4] However, few studies have examined the association between testosterone levels and diabetes in men in the general population.
An interesting study was cunducted to test the hypothesis that low normal levels of total, free, and bio-available testosterone are associated with prevalent diabetes in men.
Recent evidence strongly suggests that testosterone deficiency is a predisposing factor for various chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.[1-3]Testosterone deficiency has also been implicated as a modifiable disease risk factor for various chronic diseases in otherwise well patients.[4-7]
Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis-related fractures consume a significant portion of the $2.3 trillion in annual U.S. health expenditures. The economic impact of diabetes is estimated at $503 billion, $152 billion for cardiovascular disease, and $6 billion for osteoporosis-related fractures.[8-10]
Thus, the total burden of these diseases is over $660 billion, representing approximately 29% of all U.S. health care expenditures in 2008. Since testosterone deficiency is a potentially modifiable risk factor for these and other medical conditions, it may be responsible for substantial financial and quality-of-life burden on the U.S. health care system.
A study was conducted to specifically quantify the cost burden imposed by consequences of testosterone deficiency ...
The consequences of low testosterone levels (aka low-T) have been primarily investigated in middle-age and older men. However, low-T in young men aged 20-39 years can confer health risks as well...
Low total testosterone levels are associated with an adverse blood lipid profile, which includes high TG and low HDL, [1, 2] and a decline in total testosterone levels predisposes men to increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality.[3-7]
Prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose level is higher than normal but does not reach the level for diabetes diagnosis.[1, 2] Studies have shown that people with prediabetes tend to develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years, and are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
Among US adults over 18 years, the prevalence of prediabetes has increased from 29.2% in 1999 to 36.2% in 2010. Considering the entire US population in 2010 (approx. 309 million, data from US Cencus), this corresponds to 112 million US adults, or over one third of the US population.
Data from non-diabetic men have revealed an inverse association between insulin resistance and testosterone levels; i.e. a higher degree of insulin resistance is associated with lower testosterone levels.[4-6] This raises the question whether prediabetes, which is a state of increased insulin resistance, is also associated with low testosterone. However, few studies have investigated testosterone levels in men with prediabetes, and the risk of testosterone deficiency in men with prediabetes has not been reported.
Because the prevalence of prediabetes is affecting such a large number of Americans, and is on the rise, it is important to investigate how this condition might affect testosterone levels. Knowing that can help
detect men who are likely to have testosterone deficiency and might be at risk for health derangements caused by low-T.